Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 7, 2010 22:29:47 GMT 12
Simon Kidston, who now owns the de Havilland Racing Moth that used to be here in New Zealand, sent me the following photos of her now in the UK, and a few from history. He says:
"I thought you might like to see these shots of the Moth I bought from Gerald Grocott which is now back in the UK at last after my father took it to NZ 75 years ago. I hope to have my first flight this spring- it’s a bit chilly right now!"
"Here are a couple more, one of the Moth supposedly flying low over Cannes harbour with Edward Bret in 1930 (taken from the deck of Alan Butler’s yacht) and the other in NZ showing my father (with cap and cigarette) and his bright red supercharged racing Mercedes. The Moth came in handy for flying his solicitor to court appearances for reckless driving! Simon"
It certainly looks a bit different now to when it was owned in the sixties by Gordon Reader at Palmerston North.Gordon had three aircraft, the DH60 a Rearwin and a Moth Minor named Rugby Racing and Beer.
Post by waggersting on Jan 12, 2010 20:23:06 GMT 12
Interesting note to the Gipsy Moth photo with the Mercedes in the forground, look carefully at the area of where the front cockpit is. Mrs Butler had a wee cabin in the front with side & roof windows. She sat low in the aircraft so there was no need of a drag-producing front screen, all cowled in. Must have been kind of engine-smelly in there too? Not sure if this cabin was there for the 1930 King's Cup race or added afterwards.
Post by DragonflyDH90 on Jan 13, 2010 7:01:48 GMT 12
Hey Waggersting, the Gipsy looks quite good with the new rego etc. Do you miss it?? I thought I recognised Torquil's 185 in the front there so thought it must be Henry's place. Re: the Coke can, I guess Henry spends to much time flying and fixing to sweep the floors, he needs a lacky boy.....
Post by waggersting on Jan 16, 2010 19:53:28 GMT 12
Since Simon Kidston has re-instated that Royal Navy Ensign on the tail it must have been a marque of his father's. Looks very good Dave? Hi Ryan. Miss the old bird. She looks very good though with her old UK registration. The airborne naval shot over Cannes harbour shows the original thin (19 in) wheels. I changed her back to these from the DH 82 she was mostly on in NZ after I found a pair somewhere and we got them renovated. Made the Gipsy much more interesting (scenic) on the ground: i.e. Dargaville!
Nice to see more 'photos of the Moth and its smaller partner, hope no one minds me printing a copy off to send to Gordon Reader as he is reminiscing about the good old days and this will put a smile on his face.
Post by Dave Homewood on Nov 7, 2011 18:32:26 GMT 12
I have had the following interesting message from Nick de Smith to add to this thread:
Edward Bret, seen in the photo flying the Moth in 1930 over Cannes harbour, was my wife’s sister’s Godfather (does that make sense).
Raced for Bugatti in the 20s & 30s. He was a close associate of my Father-in-Law, Brian Lamplugh, and especially his father, “Lamps” Lamplugh – a key person in the founding of world-wide aviation insurance (amongst other things) with British Aviation Insurance.
Amongst other things, he was the de Havilland agent.
He apparently swapped a Bugatti for the Moth and was the first private pilot on the Riviera.
This DH60M Moth was built in 1930 as a 'speed model' for DH Director Arthur S Butler and achieved 2nd place 1930 King's Cup at 129.7mph - Edward won the 1930 & 31 Zenith cup for the Tour de France air race.
After Edward owned it, it was returned to the UK and was sold to Sub. Lt. Holm R A Kidston, RN. Kidston then shipped the Moth to New Zealand where it had a number of owners. In 2009, it was bought by well known vintage car collector & authority Simon Kidston (Holm's son) and returned to the UK. It was fully restored including his father’s registration and the White Ensign on the tail (as he was an RN officer).
Edward sold his Bugatti to buy that plane – see the attached notes – a real character.
I never met Edward, but his wife was still around about 20 years ago.
Update on Gordon Reader, died in Croydon University Hospital, UK, on 21st August 2am. Eight weeks after a stroke."always out on his bicycle till the end". Funeral on 5th September 2012, at Beckenham Crematorium, Kent, UK ,13.30.